There’s a rather famous song, by Greenday, called ‘Wake me up when September ends’. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? As I sit down to write this newsletter, I can’t help but hum it while, at the same time, thinking that I’d like to be awake for September please! You see, I’ve always liked September. This month, at the tail end of the year has always signified new beginnings to me. There are so many ways to wipe the slate clean and begin anew.

I’m a teacher and the new academic year has always inspired fresh hope for me. Has it done the same for you? In Switzerland, we haven’t just started the new academic year, we are already in our 3rd week! By now, you have settled into new routines, you might have started to recognise what works for you as well as what doesn’t.

Now, speaking of inspiration, last month Indian javelin thrower, Neeraj Chopra won India’s first ever gold medal in athletics. This was consequently followed by Indian then going onto script history in the Tokyo Paralympics by winning 19 medals including 5 gold medals and 8 silver medals. 19 year old Avani Lekhara has become the first Indian woman in history to win two medals in the same edition of the Paralympics. How amazing is that?

Inspiration has no age limit. While COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, there are people who have sought to create hope in the midst of it all. And, as it happens, hope has no age limit. 87 year old Usha Gupta used her experiences of suffering through COVID to motivate her to create a pickling business called ‘Picked with Love’. She uses her profits from her business to arrange for home deliveries to people suffering from COVID.

September, as we all know, brings with it the carousel of Indian festivals which brighten up our lives so much. At the end of August, you may have celebrated Onam with your nearest and dearest. I know that the pictures of Onam sadya made me feel very hungry! It was lovely to see the delightful pookalams. In addition to Onam, you may also have celebrated Janmashtami.

In September, many of you will celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. Perhaps you will be making eco- friendly Ganeshas at home? In recent years, making environmentally Ganeshas has become a whole family activity. How will you celebrate?

This newsletter will be published on the day that the Jewish festival Rosh Hashanah will conclude. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and it is celebrated by Jewish people around the world. It literally means ‘head of the year’. Rather than wish someone a ‘Happy Rosh Hashanah!’, you can wish them ‘ Shanah Tova’ which means ‘good year’.

Kanton Zurich has a rather interesting holiday coming up. Have you heard of knabbenschiessen? It is a sharp shooting festival and literally translates to ‘Boys Shooting’. However, for many years, girls have also been taking part (and winning!).

Speaking of the achievements of young people…’Young Voices’ has an exciting roster of articles for you this month, each hoping to engage and inspire you further.

Ihita Bhattacharya gives a detailed introduction to coding. In fact, if you’d like to give it a try, get in touch with her. She tells you how, in her article.

Anoushka Rao talks to us about her visit to the palaeontology museum in Zurich. Did you know that a Narwhal’s tusk is in fact a… Well, I won’t spoil it for you here. Read Anoushka’s article to find out!

Are you looking for more adventures close to home? Ashvi Shrivastav talks to us about the latest Disney movie, Jungle Cruise. Starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, it sounds like quite a caper. Did you know that it is based on a ride in Disneyland?

With vaccines and PCR checks, travel has once again become possible. Hasini Natarajan tells us about her summer vacations to St. Tropez and beyond.

Kanhai Vaidya’s saga of the sisters, Violet and Rose, continues in this month’s edition of Young Voices. This month, the sisters have great fun…Well, as ever, do read the story to find out!

Finally, we also have a book review of ‘The Elephant and the Peanut’ by Ajay Shankar written by yours truly with the help of Abhigyan and Aryahi Bhattacharya.

Would you like to write for Young Voices? Each month, we accept three articles (non-fiction, fiction, reviews, travel writing, recipes etc) and artwork. If so, please do write to us at



Disclaimer: Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any financial, reputational, legal, misrepresentational or other obligation or liability which may arise from the content of this article.